With over thirty years experience in stage and screen roles, actor Robert Craighead has been seen all around the world and last year he played the role of Detective Vincent Skarsgaard in American TV series Future Man. Robert has written the screenplay Catch A Fallen Star, which is currently in pre-production and also voiced the role of Brok in the recently released God of War video game. Taking time to talk to us, Robert discusses his 30+ years experience, his new production Catch A Fallen Star and his advice for young actors.
How is the experience filming the role of Detective Vincent Skarsgaard in the TV series Future Man and do you know if the show will be released in the UK?
Working on Future Man has been some of the most fun I have ever experienced as an actor. The creators of the show, Ariel Shaffir, Kyle Hunter and Ben Karlin who also brought us, Sausage Party and This Is The End to name a few, are some of the funniest writers I have ever worked with. Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg have assembled a team that has hit home run after home run and I am honoured to be working with them.
I play Detective Vincent Skarsgaard, who encounters these time travellers from the future who keep popping in and out of my life over a period of forty years. The time travellers, played by Josh Hutcherson, Eliza Coupe and Derek Wilson, are trying to prevent the invention of a formula that will alter mankind in the future. Of course, their hijinx cause mayhem and the death of my partner in 1969 sending me on a crusade to capture them at all costs. What ensues is some of the funniest antics ever brought to television.
Actually, I think the first season should be available in the UK online now. It is on HULU which is a streaming network.
Can you tell us about Detective Skarsgaard?
I fell in love with this character from the moment I first read it. Skarsgaard, I think, is somewhat of a cross between Nick Nolte in 48 Hours and Cliff Claven on Cheers. He’s kind of a hard-nosed detective who thinks he knows everything but is not taken seriously by his peers. He is often made out to be a fool by our heroes, which is extremely frustrating for him.
What was it like having Seth Rogen as Executive Producer for the production?
I am thrilled to be working on a Seth Rogen production. His type of humour I find very compatible with my style of comedy. I have not had the opportunity to work much with him but his style can be found throughout every episode. You know you are hitting the right chord when you can hear his distinct chuckle coming from the audience during our table reads.
You played Sheriff Mobley in the drama series Too Close To Home, what did you enjoy most about playing the character?
Well, this was my first opportunity as a series regular on a show and I was thrilled to help in the process of evolving the character of Sheriff Mobley over the course of two seasons. After I was cast and Tyler Perry began to know me as a person, he started working in some of my own personal idiosyncrasies, which I thought was hysterical. (He even used my wife Jenny’s name as Sheriff Mobley’s wife’s name)
I found Sheriff Mobley a very comfortable role, coming from a small town in Texas and having grown up with people who were very similar to those characters in Happy, Alabama. Sheriff Mobley was kind of the patriarch of the community and felt a kinship and a responsibilty to help and protect the people around him. Even if it meant stretching the law some on their behalf. The cast of Too Close To Home became very close-knit and most of us are still in contact with each other on a regular basis today.
Can you tell us about the screenplay of Catch a Fallen Star?
Absolutely! This is a story that has been rolling around in my head for about fifteen years and I finally was inspired to put it to paper two years ago after spending two years working with country music legend Paul Overstreet.
It’s the story of a country singer/songwriter who was on the brink of major stardom when he was involved in a drunk driving accident that took the life of a mother and her baby. This sent him to prison for over twenty years and upon his release tries to rebuild his life and career and the relationship with a son he never had a chance to know.
I am honoured to have Paul Overstreet, who is a multiple Grammy and CMA award-winning singer-songwriter and my close friend, agree to write the original songs to be used in the film.
I am also thrilled to have producer, Brad Wilson, head of Higher Purpose Entertainment, working with me in attaining a fantastic team to bring this film into production. Brad was head of Robert Duvall’s production company for ten years and has worked with some of the finest people in the industry. We recently secured Chris Cain to direct and I couldn’t be more excited to have him on board, having been a fan of his films The Stone Boy, Young Guns and Pure Country to name a few.
The production has been selected as a finalist at the Austin Revolution Film Festival, how does this feel?
I am really excited about the recognition the screenplay has been getting. I originally decided to enter it in some screenwriting competitions to get a feel for how people would react to it. So I entered it in six film festivals that had writing competition and was shocked to see it immediately won the first festival at SSUFF in Oklahoma. Since then it has been named a finalist in three other festivals! I will be travelling to attend the ARFF in Austin in September and I look forward to meeting as many other filmmakers as I can.
Over your 30+ years as an actor, have any of your roles seen you film overseas?
Unfortunately I have never filmed outside of the United States, however, most/all of my films and television shows have been seen all over the world and a few were set in other countries but were actually filmed in the US.
I did film in The U.S. Virgin Islands for The Young & the Restless once and that was a wonderful experience. I would absolutely love to travel to Europe and film at some point in the near future.
How did you find the experience appearing in The Ruskin Group Theatre’s musical production Sneaky Ole Time?
The theatre is where I received my training as an actor, so I try and perform on stage at least once every couple of years. The stage is like going home for me and The Ruskin Group Theatre is like family. I have done a few shows there that have been highly successful world premieres and I enjoy working with John Ruskin and Mike Myers tremendously. Sneaky Ole Time was one of those world premieres written by the very talented Steve Mazur. The show is based on seventeen of Paul Overstreet’s hit songs and is set at a roadside bar in Tennessee. This is where I met Paul and I played an ageing country singer who had given up on music and settled down. The show is a hilarious comedy where several day drinkers swap stories, sing songs and share their philosophies and opinions on life. I worked on this show for over a year and would do it again in a heartbeat!
In 2018, you voiced the role of Brok in the video game God of War, what was this like?
I not only did the voice work on God of War as Brok, the foul-mouthed blue dwarf, but also did the motion capture for the character as well. It was a lot of fun working with Cory Barlog and his team at Sony Santa Monica Studios. They are obviously the best in the business and we are thrilled with the success the game is having.
I worked on the project for about three and a half years and I know they worked on it before and after I was involved as well. So it definitely was given a lot of attention to detail and it shows in the finished product.
All of the main actors in the game worked together and did team building exercises outside of the studio to bring about a sense of trust and camaraderie that I have not experienced in working on a video game before. This game is quite unique and deserves all of the accolades that comes its way.
You recently attended Salt Lake Comic Con, how was the experience at the event and had you attended any previously for the Tomb Raider video game, in which you record the voice of Matthias?
I had a lot of fun in Salt Lake City. It was my first convention, so I did not know what to expect but I enjoyed meeting all of the fans of the game and hanging out with my friends, Chris Judge, Danielle Bisutti and Jeremy Davies. There were quite a few people who wanted to talk to me about Matthias and Tomb Raider, as well as Gen. Hemlock in Dead Rising 3.
I look forward to doing more Cons if time permits.
Would you like to come to the UK for conventions and do you have any coming up?
I would absolutely LOVE to come to the UK and do a convention! Being able to travel outside of the US and see other countries’ reaction to my character and the game would be awesome!! I know my personal appearance manager Dominic Mancini at Full Empire Promotions is currently working on a multiple convention deal but I don’t know all the details yet. Please contact him if you would like to arrange a visit from me!
Is there anything you can tell us about the projects you’re currently working on or have filmed recently?
I can’t go into a lot of detail because of NDAs and such but you can see me in the second season of Future Man coming out later this fall. I would also strongly suggest catching my film Painted Woman on Amazon now in America. It’s a western where I play the most despicable character I’ve ever had the pleasure of playing opposite Stef Dawson from The Hunger Games.
What advice would you give to young actors hoping for a long career in film and TV?
Be patient and persistent. Being an actor is a choice in a way of life, it is about the work not the accolades. I realise in today’s society we base everything on popularity and success but if you are true to your craft, eventually all of that will come to you. Be honest with who you are and the work you do as an actor. God Bless and Break A Leg!
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